|Minor Character: Las Vegas|
|Family||Carlos Moreno |
|No. of Victims||4 killed|
|Portrayed By||Geoffrey Rivas|
|First Appearance||Too Tough to Die|
"The system had its chance, Jim! It didn't do jack!"
Sam was a former member of the LVPD's gang unit. He has a step-son, Carlos Moreno, who owns comic book collectibles and works for LVPD Vice. He worked with the CSI's on occasion to solve crimes. He was described by his colleagues as overzealous. At one point in his time on the gang unit he killed one of his informants and veteran Detective Stanley Richardson covered for him. He later would aid Richardson in his vendetta against four murderers who escaped the justice system. Richardson gathered several of the murder weapons used in the old cases and gave them to Vega for him to use in the new killings.
He began his killing spree by bashing in Kevin Feltzer's skull with a wooden arcade ball. He then found Ramon Castillo from his time at LVPD's gang unit and killed him by placing rubber tires around him, covering him in gasoline and setting him on fire. He was brought in by Catherine Willows to help investigate his murder and directed her and Nick to a rival gang leader but failed to frame him for the crime. After this he killed Darlene Crocker by force feeding her PCP. He was later found out by the CSIs while attempting to kill his final victim, Rex Camford, by drowning him in the lake he was believed to have killed and dumped his wife. Captain Brass attempted to talk him into surrendering but Vega instead raised his gun to him whereupon the other officers shot and killed him, effectively committing suicide by cop. At the site where he tried to drown Camford, the CSIs find the skeletal remains of Camford's wife - with a bullet fired from Camford's gun inside the skull, allowing them to arrest him. Among Richardson's possessions, they also find a bloody knife which Vega used to kill an informant years earlier. Richardson had hidden it where they would find it, ensuring that Vega, who like his victims had gotten away with murder, would also have been brought to justice in the end.
Sam Vega's actions left lasting consequences. In Altered Stakes, because of the murders he committed, Carl Bowden, a man convicted of killing a man named Robert James, makes an appeal, claiming that the confession he made had been beaten out of him (which was probably true, since Nick saw that he was bloody after Vega had been alone in the interrogation room with him). Even though he led the LVPD to where the body was hidden, the case is reinvestigated and most of the evidence against him dismissed.
However, CSIs are able to find a woman whom he beat the same way and managed to connect him to the victim through the keys he left at the scene of the crime. As Bowden is released he is immediately arrested for the attempted murder of that woman and put back in prison despite Vega's mistakes.
Sam's methods of killing always varied. Before the vigilante killings, he beat a confession out of Carl Bowden, and he stabbed an informant to death with a balisong, or butterfly, knife for holding out some information back on a case. Later he and Richardson would get their selection of victims based on stories that their fellow detectives would often share with Richardson. Vega would later take these cases and kill the suspects the same way that they killed their victims. Kevin Fetzer killed an eight-year old boy named Mikey Moran with a wooden arcade ball when he was 15 and the body was discovered with his pants down; as a special touch, Vega also put child-like underwear on Fetzer and stole enough candles on his nearby birthday cake to leave eight candles left. Ramon Castillo killed his girlfriend Marta Arterro by firenecklacing her. Finally, Darlene Crocker killed her twelve-year old daughter Chelsea by feeding her a lethal amount of PCP and set her son Ken up to take the fall; the dosage was so severe for Darlene, she repeatedly stabbed herself with a broken mirror shard. He then attempted to drown Rex Camford in the same lake where he tossed his wife's body after he shot her to death, and when the team, came, he aimed his gun at them to commit suicide by law enforcement.
- Unspecified date in 2005: Carl Bowden (assaulted; beaten for a confession)
- Unspecified date in 2008: Unnamed informant (stabbed with a butterfly knife)
- November 16: Kevin Fetzer (bludgeoned with a wooden arcade ball; pulled down his pants, and put boy's briefs on him and stole candles off his birthday cake post-mortem)
- November 16-17: Ramon Castillo (fire-necklaced)
- November 17:
- Darlene Crocker (poisoned with a severe amount of PCP, leading her to stabbing herself repeatedly with broken mirror shard and bleed to death)
- Rex Camford (attempted to drown; was rescued)
- Unnamed Officer (attempted to shoot to provoke suicide by cop)
- Stanley Richardson (provided the names of targets and the murder weapons for some of the victims; deceased)
|CSI:Crime Scene Investigation|